§ Mr. Forman
asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will make a statement on the progress of the microelectronics applications project.
§ Mr. Kenneth Baker
I am very pleased with the achievements of the microelectronics application project—MAP—to date. It is generally acknowledged to have been a successful programme, well tuned to the needs of industry. Since MAP' s inception in 1978, the rate of uptake of microelectronics in manufacturing industry has improved from 5 per cent. to 30 per cent. And it is not, just having an impact in the high technology industries. Microelectronics is also helping traditional sectors to innovate, and a large proportion of successful applications have come from small firms.
But MAP is in sight of exhausting its original funding of £55 million, and clearly a lot still remains to be done. The Government have thérefore decided to allocate MAP an additional £30 million as part of the Budget innovation package announced on 9 March this year by my right hon. and learned Friend. These funds will allow us to keep up the pace of change already achieved by MAP, to make new 101W initiatives in industrial awareness and microelectronic training and to continue support for feasibility studies and development projects.